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    London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard and the history of emotions 1974-1987

    Day, Ralph Michael (2023) London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard and the history of emotions 1974-1987. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    This thesis charts the early history of London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard (1974-1987), a British institution at the heart of a network of community helplines that rose out of the early 1970s gay liberation movement and provided frontline support through the early years of the AIDS crisis. From cramped accommodation in King’s Cross, north London, Switchboard grew from an informal, community-funded evening helpline run on a shoestring budget, to a round-the-clock service staffed by carefully selected and highly trained volunteers, with charitable status and public funding. Switchboard volunteers in London fielded hundreds of thousands of calls per year from a broad section of British society. They documented their encounters with callers in handwritten log books and replied to letters from queer and questioning people at the margins of the community; together these form a rich and vast ‘archive of feelings.’ Through a granular study of the log books, correspondence, meeting minutes, training materials, and press cuttings in the Switchboard archive, alongside original oral history interviews with fourteen former Switchboard volunteers and callers, this thesis provides an entangled account of the emotions of the gay men and lesbians in the Switchboard collective in London, the emotions reported by the broad section of British society that reached out to them by telephone and letter, and the emotions that bubbled up in the encounters between these two groups of strangers through the 1970s and 1980s.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2023 10:22
    Last Modified: 15 Nov 2023 15:48


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